Friday, May 14, 2010

“Get a Skill, Get a Job” Is Getting Adults Back on Their Feet

Community College Week recently printed an article by reporter Tim Martin that highlights a Michigan school’s idea for retraining unemployed workers. Lansing Community College, the third-largest community college in Michigan, has implemented a career training program called “Get a Skill, Get a Job” to prepare unemployed workers for a new start in the workforce. The key, they say, is gaining the right skills to be marketable in “hot jobs.”

Michigan’s unemployment rate has risen to over 14%, leaving many adults discouraged about their future. But Lansing Community College is confident that there are jobs out there for adults who are currently unemployed, as long as they attain the skills needed for those jobs. The college is even offering a guarantee: if participants don’t find a relevant job within a year of completing the program, the college will refund their tuition.

“Get a Skill, Get a Job” is different than a college education. Participants aren’t working toward a degree. Rather, the purpose and end goal of the six-week program is to train adults, teach them very specific, job-related skills, and get them back into a job as soon as possible.

For now, “Get a Skill, Get a Job” offers just four programs: Pharmacy Technician, Customer Service Specialist, Quality Inspector, and CNC Machinist, and will train only 15-16 participants in each program.

If it is successful, I hope “Get a Skill, Get a Job” will be expanded to offer more training options to more people. With technology skills in high demand, LabSim certification training would be an ideal addition to the program. LabSim training appeals to many different learning styles and trains learners both who have a strong background or practically no background in technology. It also gives complete preparation for key IT certifications. Unemployed workers who certified in A+, Network+, Microsoft, Cisco, or other certifications would qualify themselves for many jobs with promising futures.

Emily Howard, TestOut

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